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"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." - John 8:32
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Author:  Michael J. Gaynor
Bio: Michael J. Gaynor
Date:  July 20, 2009
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Topic category:  Government/Politics

"MsPlaced Democrat" Misplaced Her Trust and Misreported on ACORN Scandal

Don't confuse ACORN "troops" with United States Marines or Marcel Reid with Rosa Parks or demand perfection from a penitent person who eventually found the courage to tell the whole truth. Remember, St. Peter denied Jesus three times before he became the rock on which Jesus founded his church, and Saul persecuted Christians before he was transformed on the road to Damascus into St. Paul, Apostle to the Gentiles.

In the ACORN 8 and its leader, Marcel Reid, "MsPlaced Democrat" Nancy Armstrong foolishly put her faith and trust.

So now, apparently, disregard demonstrable truth and defame ACORN whistleblower Anita MonCrief, Ms. Armstrong must.

On October 22, 2008, in "ACORN Whistleblower: Obama's Third Strike?," I happily became the first person to publicly identify Ms. MonCrief as a whistleblower, specifically, "an ACORN whistleblower who will not only expose ACORN, but ACORN’s ties to Obama and the Obama campaign."

In addition to Obama, ACORN and The New York Times, the ACORN 8 were loathe to have ACORN's ties to Obama and the Obama campaign exposed.

The ACORN 8 wanted to expose ACORN corruption, but there were limits on the ACORN corruption that the ACORN 8 wanted to become public knowledge, especially before Election Day 2008.

In "ACORN 8 Played Glenn Beck Very Deftly," posted on June 23, 2009, I explained:

"The ACORN 8 are depicted as honorable, even noble, but the statement omitted to note that ACORN actually was founded as a subversive organization. It is NOT, as ACORN 8 leader Marcel Reid told Beck and his viewers, a wonderful organization that was hijacked recently.

"There is a telltale sign on the ACORN 8 webpage: 'Members Fighting for Truth, Transparency and Accountability within ACORN.'

"Those last two words--'within ACORN'--tell plenty.

"Sharing the whole truth with and being fully transparent to and accountable to the public are NOT on the ACORN 8 agenda.

"The first two ACORN 8 leaders who Beck interviewed are Ms. Reid and Karen Inmen.

"Either they did not give Beck a copy of the minutes of the ISM Meeting in Chicago held on July 29, 2008, or he did not read them, or he's not about to let the truth get in his way.

"I think it's the first possibility.

"Ms. Reid and Ms. Inman are listed among the four ACORN members present.

"Under 'Wade Rathke's Liabilities and other Liabilities Matters,' it is stated:

'The Government will and can go after ACORN'

'ACORN could [go] after Wade for being on various boards and conflicts of interest and for mismanagement of funds and for the financial structures and that conflict of interests.'

'IF the idea for ACORN to go after Wade is decided upon--the recommendation is to wait until after December--elections, ACORN needs to get their corporation in order, clean house in terms of getting paperwork in order, etc."

"Ms. Reid and Ms. Inman wanted Wade Rathke replaced, but they did not necessarily want to go after him publicly ('IF') and certainly not before Election Day 2008!

"In addition, the minutes state under 'Wade Rathke's Labilities and other Liabilities Matters': "These matters are an issue not to be discussed with other board members, management staff UNLESS they have officially signed the joint defense agreement'.

"So much for 'truth, transparency and accountability' even 'within ACORN'!

"That joint defense agreement is designed to conceal, not to reveal."

Ms. Armstrong blithely ignored that proof and, amazingly, foolishly fulminated in an article replete with mischaracterization, falsehood and foolish speculation that Ms. MonCrief is not a whistleblower and "may be trying to get revenge."

As "proof" of that, Ms. Armstrong linked to two recent articles of mine, "Is ACORN 8 Leader Marcel Reid 'John Doe' and/or a True Reformer?" (July 13, 2009) and "ACORN 8's Michael McCray Demeans Marines, Defends ACORN, Decries Current ACORN Leadership" (July 16, 2009).

Ms. MonCrief has not ghostwritten for me and, as Ms. Reid learned, I am an independent commentator and not Ms. MonCrief's "mouthpiece" (Ms. Armstrong's term).

For Ms. MonCrief's own writing, go to www.anitamoncrief.blogspot.com. There's plenty of it.

Ms. MonCrief's first post, dated November 1, 2008 and written soon after Ms. MonCrief had testified in the Pennsylvania ACORN case, speaks volumes about Ms. MonCrief and will shame Ms. Armstrong (if Ms. Armstrong can feel shame):

"Coming forward was not an easy choice and I weighed my options repeatedly and realized that there was not much of a choice. ACORN is a corrupt organization that is preying on the marginalized in this society and they have become the cancerous growth of this election.

"I have never claimed to be perfect and only answered questions honestly on the stand. ACORN brought 3 witnesses to testify but only two did. What happened? Karyn Gillette had the opportunity to take that stand and call me a liar and 'set the record straight' and instead she fled the courtroom. Ms. Gillette sat two seats from me on the same row and as I prepared to face my former mentor and the woman who I thought was my friend, I realized that she had no idea that I would completely tell the truth and therefore she was confident in her role as the person sent by ACORN to discredit me.

"After I testified under oath, I noticed that the attitude of the ACORN people had changed in the room, the intimidating stance was gone as Karyn typed on her Blackberry at lightning speed, and the other ACORN folks heard the truth in my words.

"I am a liberal Democrat, pro-choice and a Obama supporter. I never wanted for this to progress to this point. I tried contacting www.rottenacorn.org in June of 2007 before the credit card, before the termination. I was told that it could get ugly and that since I was a single mom and needed this job for my baby, that I should try to find somewhere else and then contact them again.

"I urge Karyn and Brian Kettering to follow my example and stop hiding behind the media. If I am such a liar, then by all means, say so in sworn testimony.

"Why did Karyn Gillette leave the courtroom? Only she knows, but I guess it had something to do with the fact that I told the truth and she wasn't willing to get on the stand and do the same thing.

"I have never needed anyone to speak for me. I speak for myself and have always been prepared to deal with the consequences of my actions."

Ms. MonCrief did not include it in her blog, but she had testified on direct examination as follows:

Q Have you been intimidated in regard to your coming here today?

A Yes. I was asked to back down, and I was told that they were bringing their big guns for me and, you know, it would be best for everyone if I just didn't testify.

Q Are you frightened?

A Yes.

Q Why did you decide to go ahead if you're frightened?

A Because someone needed to do it. This is a very important time in ACORN's history. They're on the -- and this is going to sound so stupid. But I really do feel like they're ready to where they can be a really great organization but there's people that are digging their heels in and they're fighting the truth. And the truth is the only thing that's going to make this all go away, not another cover up.

And I don't like to be threatened. I don't like to be backed into a corner. I'm not -- I don't like to be afraid, I'd like to just tell the truth. And so I realized I can either stay in the corner and be scared and, you know, hiding at my mom's house or I can come out and get in front of everybody."

It was Ms. MonCrief who came forward to reveal that The New York Times had killed an Obama/ACORN expose on which she had been working with New York Times national correspondent Stephanie Strom and proved it by producing documents, email between herself and Ms. Strom and even a voicemail left by Ms. Strom on October 21, 2008.

It was Ms. MonCrief who came forward to testify in the Pennsylvania ACORN case last October.

It was Ms. MonCrief who set up her own blog as Election Day 2008 came near and produced illuminating post after post despite reasonable fear.

Ms. MonCrief grew disillusioned as the Age of Obama unfolded and became an ex-liberal.

Ms. MonCrief told truths that the ACORN 8 did not want made public as well as supported the ACORN 8 to the extent that they too worked to expose ACORN corruption.

Even the ACORN 8 acknowledged that Ms. MonCrief was a genuine whistleblower.

The first paragraph of a statement issued by the ACORN 8 National Spokesperson Michael McCray reads as follows: "On behalf of the National Board of the ACORN 8, we are all saddened by and express great concern due to the ACORN court action filed against whistleblower Anita Moncrief. While we do not express an opinion on the merits of ACORN’s complaint; we as reform advocates decry the tactic of suing whistleblowers – especially, low to moderate income people who do not have the financial means to effectively fight back in courts of law. Moreover, this is yet another example of why congress must enact strong corporate, government and tax-payer funded whistleblower protection laws."

But Ms. Armstrong suddenly insisted on July 17, 2009 that Mr. McCray and the ACORN 8 and I are all wrong about Ms. MonCrief being a whistleblower. In a crazed post titled "Anita MonCrief Famed Project Vote/ACORN Whistleblower Is Not A Whistleblower!" up on July 17, 2009, Ms. Armstrong insisted: "Anita MonCrief is not a whistleblower. She doesn’t meet the definition of a whistleblower at all."

Wikipedia supports Mr. McCray, the ACORN 8 and me on this one:

"A whistleblower is a person who publicly alleges concealed misconduct on the part of an organization or body of people, usually from within that same organisation. This misconduct may be classified in many ways; for example, a violation of a law, rule, regulation and/or a direct threat to public interest, such as fraud, health/safety violations, and corruption. Whistleblowers may make their allegations internally (for example, to other people within the accused organisation) or externally (to law enforcement agencies, to the media or to groups concerned with the issues).

"Whistleblowers frequently face reprisal - sometimes at the hands of the organisation or group which they have accused, sometimes from related organisations, and sometimes under law."

In the case of Ms. MonCrief, reprisal has come from both ACORN affiliate Project Vote and Ms. Armstrong.

Ms. Armstrong praised herself for providing "research intensive coverage of ACORN and its Web of Corruption," but she seems to have drunk deeply from the pitcher of ACORN 8 Kool-Aid and thus to be oblivious to in the insult to United States Marines in equating them with ACORN "troops" as well as unaware why ACORN's Madeline Talbott and Keith Kelleher of Illinois were dropped as "defendants" in the complaint filed by the ACORN 8 with the United States Department of Justice the day after Ms. Reid emailed Ms. MonCrief that she approved filing a draft of the complaint that included them.

Instead of checking into the dropping of Ms. Talbott and her husband, Mr. Kelleher, Ms. Armstrong raged that I had contradicted her as well as criticized the ACORN 8.

After reading my (for Ms. Armstrong and the ACORN 8 disconcerting) statement that "Ms. Armstrong’s implicit insistence that neither Ms. Reid nor any other ACORN 8 members shared information or documents pertaining to what went on 'within the boardroom of ACORN' with Ms. MonCrief and Ms. MonCrief did not share information and documents with respect to Project Vote with Ms. Reid or any other ACORN 8 member should not be believed," Ms. Armstrong lost it, claiming that I had called her a liar, wondering whether I really am a lawyer (check the New York State Attorney Registration records available online) and wrongly assuring her readers that she should be believed because she had spoken with the ACORN 8.

Ms. Armstrong:

"In conversations with members of the ACORN-8 it was explained to me many times that the different entities of ACORN are all sep[a]rate and individual entities. I have researched the more than two hundred organizations through the Louisiana Secretary of State’s website, the ones I located appear to be separate entities on paper.

"According to several reports on the internet money seems to flow freely among the entities but the entities remain separate and distinct on paper."

"Several ACORN sources that I have spoken to recently never indicated they shared any information exchanges with Ms. MonCrief. Some did say they supported MonCrief’s efforts in exposing Project Vote but that is all they discussed with me."

Just because the ACORN 8 have not acknowledged something to Ms. Armstrong does not mean that something is not true. I have confirmed facts from documents (some quoted below especially for Ms. Armstrong's benefit).

Ms. Armstrong did concede that maybe there are documents being concealed by the ACORN, but immediately comforted readers with the assurance that would be on advice of counsel and the public has no need to know about such documents! Ms. Armstrong: "ACORN-8 may have withheld some documents on the advice of more than one lawyer because it is only relevant to any lawsuits that result from ones filed in 14 states. Any information ACORN-8 might or might not have withheld is evidence for a jury to consider not the general public."

Ms. Armstrong, who definitely is not a lawyer, is wrong again: the documents I have reviewed definitely are of interest to the general public and in the United States jury trials ARE open to the general public, not secret.

Ms. Armstrong tried to cast doubt that ACORN 8 leader Marcel Reid was a confidential source of Ms. Strom.

Let's check some documents with which Ms. Armstrong apparently is unfamiliar.

In an August 4, 2008 email from Ms. MonCrief to Ms. Strom, Ms. MonCrief reported: "I spoke to Marcel Reid today and I have to say that you have a lot of people on edge and the factions are very real and vocal. Still working on how much I want to spill but check out Sidley & Austin and their recent work for ACORN. [Their] work may be actually a preemptive undercover strike by Sidley & Austin for another one of their high profile connections who has an interest in what is being dug up about ACORN and PV."

Note: Sidley & Austin is President Obama's old law firm.

Ms. Strom was seeking proof of an improper Obama-ACORN connection, Ms. MonCrief did not want to provide the first evidence of that and Ms. Reid did not want the Obama-ACORN relationship investigated and publicized.

On September 16, 2008, Ms. Strom emailed Ms. MonCrief: "It just dawned on me that the law firm doing the scrub of the Acorn embezzlement is Sidley Austin, i.e. Obama's old law firm. Also, that Mesirow Financial, the firm hired to provide financial advice to Acorn is headed by a guy who's a major Obama donor. Do you have any idea if the campaign played a role in recommending these outfits?"

Less than two hours later, Ms. MonCrief emailed back: "M says they are trying to remove her and Karen as we speak, they are fighting back but the staff is organizing against them. she is scanning in documents and will send them to me."

Will Ms. Armstrong figure out who document scanner and sender "M" is? Even if so, will Ms. Armstrong still argue that "neither Ms. Reid nor any other ACORN 8 members shared information or documents pertaining to what went on 'within the boardroom of ACORN' with Ms. MonCrief? Whatever, there was plenty of sharing of documents and information and the proof exists. Ms. Armstrong curious assurance to her readers that "Ms. Anita MonCrief has no knowledge of the role these former ACORN board members played within the boardroom of ACORN" was, is and forever will be false. I previously pointed out that was not true. I did NOT opine on whether Ms. Armstrong is a liar or a dupe, since I did not know which. Ms. Armstrong's subsequent false claim that I had called her a liar for false reporting should not be allowed to distract from the truth or move the spotlight from principal players (Ms. MonCrief and Ms. Reid) to mere reporters (Ms. Armstrong and me).

On September 17, 2008, Ms. Strom emailed Ms. MonCrief with a link for "M": "Why do they think it's so important to seal your lips? What have they got to hide? An email that I tried to send you yesterday failed to be delivered. It contained a link I thought would be interesting for M. It was a legal doc, showing that Richard Mesirow, the head of the firm, was charged with wrongdoing of some sort (I can[']t remember what right this minute.) My question is why ACORN wants to have a firm who's head is under a legal cloud doing its 'financial review.'"

The notion that Ms. MonCrief and Ms. Reid did not cooperate with Ms. Strom before and with each other both before and after Election Day 2008 is utter nonsense. If Ms. Reid deceived Ms. Armstrong as to her relationships with Ms. MonCrief and Ms. Strom, then Ms. Armstrong was duped.

My questions (and questions Ms. Armstrong would do well to pursue) are why is Ms. Reid still an ardent Obama supporter and why are people old enough to know better promoting the "Marcel Reid is Rosa Parks" myth.

Don't confuse ACORN "troops" with United States Marines or Marcel Reid with Rosa Parks or demand perfection from a penitent person who eventually found the courage to tell the whole truth. Remember, St. Peter denied Jesus three times before he became the rock on which Jesus founded his church, and Saul persecuted Christians before he was transformed on the road to Damascus into St. Paul, Apostle to the Gentiles.

Michael J. Gaynor

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Biography - Michael J. Gaynor

Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member.

Gaynor graduated magna cum laude, with Honors in Social Science, from Hofstra University's New College, and received his J.D. degree from St. John's Law School, where he won the American Jurisprudence Award in Evidence and served as an editor of the Law Review and the St. Thomas More Institute for Legal Research. He wrote on the Pentagon Papers case for the Review and obscenity law for The Catholic Lawyer and edited the Law Review's commentary on significant developments in New York law.

The day after graduating, Gaynor joined the Fulton firm, where he focused on litigation and corporate law. In 1997 Gaynor and Emily Bass formed Gaynor & Bass and then conducted a general legal practice, emphasizing litigation, and represented corporations, individuals and a New York City labor union. Notably, Gaynor & Bass prevailed in the Second Circuit in a seminal copyright infringement case, Tasini v. New York Times, against newspaper and magazine publishers and Lexis-Nexis. The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed, 7 to 2, holding that the copyrights of freelance writers had been infringed when their work was put online without permission or compensation.

Gaynor currently contributes regularly to www.MichNews.com, www.RenewAmerica.com, www.WebCommentary.com, www.PostChronicle.com and www.therealitycheck.org and has contributed to many other websites. He has written extensively on political and religious issues, notably the Terry Schiavo case, the Duke "no rape" case, ACORN and canon law, and appeared as a guest on television and radio. He was acknowledged in Until Proven Innocent, by Stuart Taylor and KC Johnson, and Culture of Corruption, by Michelle Malkin. He appeared on "Your World With Cavuto" to promote an eBay boycott that he initiated and "The World Over With Raymond Arroyo" (EWTN) to discuss the legal implications of the Schiavo case. On October 22, 2008, Gaynor was the first to report that The New York Times had killed an Obama/ACORN expose on which a Times reporter had been working with ACORN whistleblower Anita MonCrief.

Gaynor's email address is gaynormike@aol.com.


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